Clarity v Clarity

Life is complicated, confusing, sometimes maddening in its perplexing complexity. It is natural for a person to search for clarity and simplicity when everything is overwhelming. The feeling of seeing things clearly is a great help for mental health. Clarity is a much better guide than confusion for knowing what to do, how to act, what is right and what is misguided. Clarity is undeniably a good thing.

The most common form of clarity is based on general consensus, shared views on right and wrong. Everyone around you agrees about the basic issues, you agree on the proper authorities and experts to consult for confirmation, and you don’t have to constantly fight your way through painful conflict over every detail of every single aspect of everything in a sometimes aggravating life. This kind of clarity is normal, commendable, and at its heart based on love, trust and faith, the highest reasons to believe anything.

There is another kind of clarity that some insist is more substantial and more useful than the clarity of general consensus, faith, love and absolute loyalty. This kind of clarity requires a little more work, and a little less faith. It is slightly more difficult to get, since it seeks evidence and some kind of reasonable confirmation rather than just general agreement.

This kind of clarity is also often seen as more supremely annoying, abnormal, superiority-based and frankly provocative as fuck, this “so-called” clarity based on doing the work to think things through clearly, reconcile conflicting points of view and reach conclusions that can be explained clearly to others.

Practitioners of faith and love-based clarity find this “reasonableness based” clarity profoundly lacking in the three most important aspects of human life — love, trust and faith. We love each other, trust each other and we have faith in each other. Nothing could be simpler, or more commendable, better or more praiseworthy.

The practitioner of so-called “reasonableness-based clarity” already admits that love and trust are not enough for him, nor faith, absent the so-called reasons he claims allow him to see things more clearly than “normal” people, those he feels pugnaciously superior to.

You see where we’re at here. It is elementally human to want to feel you are right, that you are not wrong, that you are not talking out of your ass, out of a blind need to feel right, not wrong, not talking out of your ass. Love covers all those things, of course, since your motivations and intentions are of necessity spotless, if they come from love.

The cold-hearted person who keeps demanding so-called Reason (and for some reason this type likes to capitalize the word Reason in the context of a principle of thoughtful life derived from fact, evidence, experience, trial and error and so forth) will always be lacking in that most important single thing in life — love (and its close cousin loyalty). They also, those who keep delving, and thinking, and digging in emotionally difficult terrain, lack trust and faith, clearly, as shown by their very actions.

They cannot accept that a deity arranged this miraculous universe in a way humans can never fully understand, and that all human attempts to understand the will of one so omnipotent, omniscient, ubiquitous and all-loving are merely the vanity of the flawed creations of this perfect being, creations made in his perfect image… so how can you expect them to understand?

It is easy to understand that people who strongly feel they already have perfect clarity would be offended, even angry, at the assertion that they have taken the easy way out of a difficult problem by accepting something less than ideal, for the sake of peace of mind. I’d be offended, as I am, when people attack my notion of clearheaded analysis, often certain of my position before I can even express it. Homo sapiens, the “wise ape”, is also a reflexively self-justifying, warlike ape.

Those who may happen on these opinionated posts of mine, please don’t mistake me for someone who accepts that an all-powerful, all-merciful creator has dreamed up a world perfect beyond my comprehension and overflowing with a divine love I have locked my heart against. As Neil DeGrasse Tyson points out, it is not possible, in the face of acts of God like earthquakes, tsunamis, plagues, killer floods, events that kill thousands of innocents, including children, that the same God whose acts these are is all-powerful and all-loving. If he was all-loving, you know, and if he was all-powerful, you know.

Leaving God out of it, those who get clarity through ideology, accepting a belief system without questioning what it is made of, what motivates it, what the likely results of its goals are, God bless. Not for me, though. Getting clarity is the only way through the dim night. It’s often more strenuous than serene acceptance of an explanation that gives maximum comfort, though the serene acceptance method often has unintended consequences.

Believe what you like, I say. I don’t proselytize, it’s against my religion. I say what I have to. You take in what you’d like to and disregard the rest, it’s still a free country. God, it is said, created freewill, the basis of human life and all human misery. Human freewill, of course, is God’s get out of jail card against the blasphemous charge that He is not all-powerful and all-merciful, for any evil that humans encounter is the fault of human freewill, God’s gift to mankind, and no fault of an all-powerful, all-loving Creator. I’ll leave it to more pure minds than my own to fight that one out. I have to go now.

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